by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Mercury Cars Guide : June 6th 2009
8— Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Project hits speed bump Saturday, June 6, 2009 Big on claims, but a tad snug GET SMART: The retro chic Fiat 500. S CALL FOR HELP: Deakin’s Dr Bernard Rolfe says he would be happy if an entrepreneur helped get the uni’s project car to Shanghai. Despite hittingafinancial snag, Victoria’s Deakin University expects to have its green car project ready forshownext year. NeilMcDonaldreports A COMPRESSED air city car that will showcase Australian ingenuity to the world has hit a funding pot- hole. But Deakin University still aims to have its innovative green car on show at next year’s ShanghaiExpoin China. Project leader Dr Bernard Rolfe is still optimistic the car will reach Shanghai but admits it will be slightly different to the form shown previously. Because of the funding short- fall the car is likely to take on a different shape. ‘‘It will likely be more aero- dynamic,’’ he says. ‘‘It will be a cut-down version but we hope we can put some- thing together. ‘‘We are working on a light- weight structure.’’ A group of students initially won $30,000 for the university in a global competition sponsored by Ford, in Detroit, to design a 2015 Ford that would be the equivalent of the Model T in cost, application and ingenuity. The students called their car T2, for T-squared, a play on the original’s name. The burnt orange, three- wheeler was part of Ford’s 100th anniversary celebrations to commemorate the original Model T. The three-wheeler is de- signed to run on compressed air and to turn 360 degrees on itself, to make inner-city park- ing easy in cities like Shanghai. Afull-size T2mock-upmodel, funded by the Victorian Gov- ernment,was created with help from C5 Systems, McDowell and Venn and Soldani Bros for Victoria’s Automotive week and the Melbourne motorshow earlier this year. At the time the car needed about $1 million to reach a full- size working prototype. The Victorian Government has kicked in $100,000 to help and the university is now working with the Automotive Co-operative Research Centre to deliver the car in time. Dr Rolfe is confident the car will meet the Shanghai dead- line. ‘‘It will be tight but we’ll do it,’’ he says. He says he would be happy if an entrepreneur dipped in to help get the car to Shanghai. ‘‘We are showing off Austra- lia ingenuity on the world stage,’’ he says. ‘‘There are some good ideas with the car’s technology.’’ Rolfe says the car will exhibit about $3 million worth of re- search and engineering know- how. When Deakin planned the original T2, it was built to provide some innovative green solutions to modern motoring. The small vehicle uses in- wheel motors that replace the conventional petrol engine, as well as compressed natural gas for longer distances. The wheels are carbon fibre for strength and lightweight and it is planned that the body will use a high-strength metal laminate material designed by Canberra firm Elaco. The Elaco material is both lightweight and reasonably elastic to cope with minor impacts. The car met its goal of being similar to the original Model T. Like the Model T it is light, practical, compelling and cheap. Dr Rolfe says the T2 has a projected price of $9000. EEMS like only yes- terday that the first boast made for any new car was the speed with which it got from standing to 100km/h. Per- formance benchmarks were all that counted. Now, the essential ques- tion is how few litres from the planet’s ever- diminishing store of fossil fuel a car uses in the course of driving 100km. By that measure, the diesel version of Fiat’s ret- ro chic 500 is the second most impressive car Aus- tralian money can buy. With a claimed con- sumption of 4.2 litres per 100km in ideal conditions, it betters Toyota’s hybrid Prius, trailing only the seemingly miraculous claim of 3.9litre/100km for the Mini Cooper D, which arrives this month. Over several days in Sydney’s increasingly hor- rendous peak-hour traffic conditions, this tiny oiler 500 realised an entirely credible 5.5litre/100km. Of course, you can’t help but wonder if anyone with $30K to drop on what is essentially a 3.5m/980kg lifestyle accessory cares about a few litres either way. And in that case, the free revving, but hardly thirsty, 1.4-litre petrol en- gine version would be the way to go. It would cer- tainly be the more agree- able to live with. Italian carmakers be- small torque Fiat 500 JTD Price: $29,990 (driveaway) Engine: 1.3-litre turbo diesel; 55kw/ 145Nm Economy: 4.2L/100km Transmission: 5-speed manual lieve their engines should be heard and that’s fine, just that the doughty 1.3-litre four- pot diesel is a bit of a throbber. With rain pelting on the glass roof and scraping wipers, it made for some cacophon- ous rides home. With either engine, though, comes top-spec ‘‘Lounge’’ trim. Our test car came with voice acti- vation, i-Pod, Bluetooth compatibility as standard. If the olive green paint made it resemble some- thing you’d find in a mas- sive martini, this is per- haps the most pleasing 500 exterior hue next to white. Sure, it’s tight in the back and the driving posi- tion is bit like a van’s, but as an urban commuting device the 500 is twice as smart as a Smart Fortwo. For the record, the claimed 0-100km/h time is 12.5 seconds. PAUL POTTINGER 05 Sporty Lancer Sedan • Sporty 5 spd man • Boot spoiler + alloys • CD • Airbags • A/cond • Keyless entry + immob • Still under factory warranty up to Sept 2010 STILL UNDER FACTORY WARRANTY UP TO SEPT 2010 Just $11,490 07 Toyota Corolla Hatch • Brilliant small auto • Current model • 1.8 L • Air cond • ABS • Keyless entry + immob • CD/MP3 • Airbags • Pwr wind (front) • Balance of factory wnty BALANCE OF FACTORY WARRANTY Just 17,990 $ 2008 Nissan Tiida Sedan 2005 Nissan X-Trail 4WD Wagon • Like new • 1.8 L • 6 speed manual • Approx 21,700 kms • Airbags • Air cond • Keyless entry • Immob • CD • Tinted wind • Balance of factory wnty • Auto • Cruise • Pwr wind • Keyless entry • immob • Airbags • CD • Towbar • ABS • 1 year wnty + roadside assist. BALANCE OF FACTORY WARRANTY Just 15,790 06 BF Falcon Sedan $ • Brand new alloys and tyres • ABS • Traction ctrl • Cruise • A/cond •IRS • Keyless entry + immob • Airbags • CD + more! 1 YEAR WARRANTY PLUS 1 YEAR ROADSIDE ASSIST Just $17,490 06 Mitsubishi 380 Series II. Possibly the finest of Australia’s 6 cyl breed • Automatic/tiptronic • Cruise controlol • Refined/powerful 3.8lt engine • Air cond • Pwr windows • Power driver’s seat • ABS/EBD • Four airbags • Trip computer rip computer NEW ALLOYS & TYRES Sale Price Cnr Harrington and Bathurst Streets, Hobart. Ph 6237 1199 autorent.com.au Vehicle for illustration purposes only. Prices don’t include the 3% Government Stamp Duty and $23 transfer fee. $ 15,990 TRADE-INS WELCOME 380 SX Sale Price from $16,490 NEW CAR WARRANTY TO LATE 2011 OR 130,000 KMS Sale Price from • Superbly quiet cabin. $ 14,490 2032468-23 1 ONLY SAT& OPEN 9-5 SUN
May 30th 2009
June 13th 2009